Winter Warmers! by SJV
2018/10/31  |  By:   |  Features  |  

I could say that this post is to celebrate publication of Part 1 of the brand new #StarAndSixpence series of novellas by Holly HepburnNew Beginnings – but, let’s be honest, I’d take any excuse to talk cocktails, especially winter warmers!

So, here goes, my pick of the four best hot alcoholic beverages to try at home this festive season.  Three couldn’t be simpler, one takes a little bit more time, but is SO Christmassy, it’s worth every second…

Mulled Gin – serves 4 (or 2 if you’re thirsty)

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • Peel of an orange + 1 orange wedge per person
  • Peel of a lemon
  • Small knob of fresh ginger, grated
  • Carton of apple juice
  • 2 tsp runny honey
  • 50ml gin
  1. Add the cinnamon stick, orange and lemon peel, grated ginger and apple juice to a large saucepan and simmer on a low heat for 10-15 minutes
  2. Stir in the honey
  3. Remove from the heat and strain into a jug
  4. Glug a measure of gin and a garnish of orange wedge into each mug before filling up to the brim with the warm apple spice mix
  5. Stick on It’s a Wonderful Life and enjoy…

Hotter Than Hot Rum Toddy – serves 2 (or 1 if you’re really cold)

  • 50ml rum
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 200ml hot water (give the kettle 5 mins to cool down a bit first)
  • 4 dried cloves
  • 1 lemon  - half juiced and half sliced
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks to garnish
  1. Combine the rum, honey, hot water and cloves in a jug and stir until completely combined
  2. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon
  3. Drop a slice of lemon into a glass then pour over your rum toddy
  4. Stick The Grinch on, wrap up in a blanket and relax….


(Better Than Lemsip) Vodka Lemon & Honey – serves 2 (or 1 if you’ve actually got a cold!)

  • 50ml Vodka
  • 3 tsp of honey
  • 200ml of freshly boiled water
  • 1 lemon, zested and sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Fresh ginger, grated
  1. Muddle the vodka, honey, lemon zest, cinnamon sticks, ginger and water together in a jug
  2. Leave to brew for 5 minutes before pouring into heatproof glasses, adding a slice of lemon and sipping, gently, whilst listening to your favourite Christmas crooner CD


The Full Monty Glogg – well worth the 24 hour delay!

  • 2 broken up cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods
  • 1 small piece of peeled ginger
  • Grated zest of an orange
  • 6 cloves
  • 100ml of vodka
  • Bottle of (dry) red wine
  • 250ml of port
  • 120g sugar
  • Vanilla pod – halved
  • 60g almonds
  • 60g raisins
  1. Crush the cinnamon and cardamom (with a pestle and mortar or by bashing with something heavy) and put in a glass jar or bottle (anything with a lid).
  2. Add the ginger, orange zest, cloves and vodka to your glass receptacle, screw the lid on and leave for 24 hours.
  3. Strain the vodka mix into a large saucepan (you can throw the spices away), then add the red wine, port, sugar, vanilla pod, almonds and raisins and heat over a medium heat till bubbles just start to appear
  4. Serve in mugs with a few almonds and raisins per mug.  Keep any remaining Glogg warm over a very low heat (don’t let it boil).
  5. Collapse…